Def Jam Weighs On Kanye West’s New Album
When we last heard, Kanye West was camped out in the mountains working on new music.
Apparently, that’s what Def Jam CEO Steve Bartels last heard too.
Here’s what Bartels said when asked by Variety about ‘Ye in the wilderness.
Let me ask what’s up with several of your artists. Word was that Kanye West was recording by himself somewhere in Utah — is that real?
I don’t know if that’s real or not, I read the same things you do. When we talk we don’t really get down to the granular of where he’s going and how he’s flying there, we keep it much more on a broader level. Kanye is working, that’s been widely reported. He’s always very focused, and our relationship with him is that we always have great respect for him and when he’s ready to do something or talk about something, we’re there for him, we totally support his vision and his focus, and that’s where we leave it. I check in with him from time to time just to see how he’s doing. What’s great about our relationship is that I always know when it’s go time — because he wakes me up. [Laughter]
He was then asked if we’re going to be getting new music from ‘Ye this year.
He’s always working, so maybe so. It’s never something we’re pushing — it’s always led by the creative side.
Bartles also commented on Iggy Azalea, who had just chided Def Jam for moving her album Digital Distortion back again.
I think the big thing is focusing on the single [“Switch,” released in mid-May] and getting it into the marketplace. It just came out and the song has gotten some good feedback from radio and the team is working really hard at getting it charted. It’s a building process. The most important thing is getting her back to a place where she’s hot.